Levan Center Welcomes Guest Speaker: Randall Kennedy, Harvard Professor of Law

Professor Randall Kennedy in a library setting

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

by Deanna Rea

The Levan Center at Bakersfield College recently welcomed guest speaker: Randall Kennedy, Harvard Professor of Law as part of their annual Levan Lecture series. The lecture took place in the Renegade Events Center located on the third floor of the Campus Center building.

The event began with dedications for those involved in the event and the host expressed gratitude for the generous donations to the Levan Center and its educational events. As each person sat down, notecards and pencils were distributed among the crowd for future questions that may arise during the lecture. The presentation began with a quick introduction of Randall Kennedy, highlighting his inspiring achievements and endeavors. The room was filled with eager listeners, and throughout the presentation, faculty were called upon to bring in more chairs due to the increasing size of the audience.

Professor Randall Kennedy’s discussion revolved around the public policy of racial affirmative action: justifications and objections, and proposed the question: can a public institution engage in the public policy of affirmative action and be valid under the constitution? After discussing various definitions and applications of affirmative action, Professor Kennedy shared his personal views on the matter. He noted that he was, “not defending every design [of affirmative action],” but maintained that the public policy of racial affirmative action is highly possible and much more effective when minimizing the downsides and maximizing the benefits. He concluded the discussion by inviting the audience to a Q&A session, thoughtfully addressing every question presented.

The Levan Center hosts about twenty-five events per year featuring various guest speakers and activities. For more information on future events, please visit the BC online events calendar.